Within Central City Liquors' family-owned walls, a comprehensive stock of spirits moistens maws with 175 single malts, 130 tequilas, and more than 50 bourbons. Customers can uncap 750-milliliter bottles of Jack Daniel's single-barrel whiskey ($34.99) to electrify a party or water a fern that had a particularly rough workweek. Postshopping cocktail glasses brim with Bombay Sapphire gin ($22.99) or sweet potations blended with Disaronno amaretto ($20.99). Mixologists can transport taste buds south of the border with 1800 Reposado or Silver tequila ($19.99), an ideal liquid to lay the groundwork for a margarita or an environmentally unsound koi pond.
A haven for fresh flowers and all manner of plant life serving the Des Moines area since 1948, Doherty’s Flowers transforms backyards into arboreal havens and lends fragrant, colorful accents to front porches and gardens. Guests can also peruse the greenhouse and nursery at their own leisure, picking out lilies with which to beautify their home gardens and carnivorous plants to hide in their coworkers’ cubicle drawers. The shop’s florists stroll down the paths of their garden and nursery, carefully selecting bouquets of local and tropical flowers for weddings, gift baskets, and delivery to loved ones.
Born of one woman's idea to create a store that is completely kid-centric and appeals to children, Simply for Giggles is a cheerful, welcoming place that’s filled to the brim with necessities for being young and bearing young. The stock crosses all categories and includes—but is not limited to—furniture, toys, books, bedding, strollers, diaper bags, bath supplies, and slings for wearing a baby or letting a friendly Yeti wear a baby. The Hedgehog Family hanging mobile ($29.99) gives children an alternative to counting sheep; the Snuggle Buddy Lambie ($23.99) gives them a sheep to snuggle; and Sandra Boynton's Bath Time book ($6.95) gives them information about bathing sheep. Simply for Giggles carries Little Twig organic baby-pampering products, as well as JuJuBe diaper gear.
Self-billed as a "funky little boutique for bellies, babies, and kiddos," Urban Belly's 6th Street retail space teems with fashion and gifts ideal for professional carpet crawlers and working mommies-to-be. Urban's staff lines the shelves with baby gifts such as nursing covers, diaper bags, and towel sets. For moms, the staff curates apparel that includes a lower-priced value-line of clothing. They also adorn hangers with an array of designer brands such as Oilian, Lilac Maternity, and Citizens of Humanity—which devotes a portion of its profits to various charities ranging from youth programs to stuffed-animal witness-protection programs.
There's a reason why the sandwiches at Keller's Deli and Cafe have brought local customers and food critics back for seconds and thirds. Owner and head baker Cameron Keller studied artisan and sourdough baking at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, learning the ins and outs of classic European recipes. He begins his bordalais bread with a 100-year-old German sourdough starter to impart maximum flavor, and he tops the hot, chewy bread with deli meats. Of the house-brined corned-beef brisket, Cityview Food Dude Jim Duncan says, "No other corned beef in town compares for tenderness and flavor." And after biting into the thick slices of it on the reuben sandwich, the author of the Distilled Opinion food blog remarked, "I was amazed because I’d never had corned beef quite like this." Other sandwiches of note include the handcrafted meatloaf, which boasts ground beef and an apple-cider-vinegar tomato sauce. The outdoor patio is an ideal spot to read a book or construct a sun visor out of a baguette.
City Furniture outfits abodes with furniture, mattresses, and an array of artwork and household accents. Its sizable showroom is stuffed with bonded-leather couches, dressers, button-tufted sofas, and handcrafted hardwood TV centers, all illuminated by an array of lighting fixtures beaming from shelves and tabletops. A variety of twin-, queen-, full-, and king-size mattresses fill the imagination with thoughts of nighttime slumber, also inspiring customers to take quick naps after rigorous afternoon wing-eating competitions.